America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), has recently declared its partnership with InnoCentive Inc., the pioneer in crowdsourced innovation and Challenge Driven Innovation™, to launch a pilot series of three challenges called Innovation Sprints.
The aim of the America Makes Innovations Sprints is to further research and development (R&D) in key areas in support of the Institute’s Technology Roadmap and the advancement of the additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP) industry while reaching a broader audience of innovators. America Makes will award each Innovation Sprint winner with a Silver-level Membership to the Institute for one year, worth USD 15,000.
The first in the series of America Makes Innovation Sprints focuses on “smart structures” using AM methods. A smart structure is any part with an integrated device, such as (but not limited to) embedded sensors or actuators that allow for data acquisition and/or smart manipulation. This application has been a long-standing promise of AM that remains unfulfilled. America Makes wants to better understand the state of the art of this potentially disruptive technology.